« | »

Happy St Zaxiriddin’s Day! (For You Uzbeks)

From Radio Free Europe (which still exists!):

Love It (Or Hate It), It’s Valentine’s Day

by Eugen Tomiuc, Mania Mansour and Salih Mohammad Salih [sic]
February 14, 2012

… Valentine’s Day, a mostly Western and Christian-inspired holiday, has, indeed, spread all over the world. Today, valentines will be exchanged in Orthodox Christian areas of Eastern Europe, anchors of the Muslim world like Iraq, and Hindu India.

But some countries — such as Iran, Indonesia, and Uzbekistan — are taking steps to limit it or even ban it.

Love is not the issue in Uzbekistan, where authorities have reportedly forbidden the celebration of holidays that are alien to Uzbek culture. Instead, sweethearts in the country are encouraged to celebrate St. Zaxiriddin’s Day in honor of renowned poet and statesman Zaxiriddin Muhammad Bobur.

Muslims have saints?

It turns out St. Zaxiriddin was a blood-thirsty conqueror, so it’s okay.

Bobur, the descendent of Genghis Khan who once ruled the Ferghana Valley and is buried in Kabul, is considered to be a symbolic equivalent of the martyred Christian saint Valentine. His 529th birthday will be marked today with readings of his love poems.

Well, he is famous for his conquests.

Iran has been an acerbic critic of Valentine’s Day, which it deems un-Islamic. Last year, amid the rising popularity of the holiday among the country’s youth, Tehran banned all cards and other symbols of the day under the threat of legal action

Even though every year we are treated to stories in our mainstream media about how widely St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Iran.

In Romania and Moldova, the ancient pre-Christian holiday Dragobete, which is marked on February 24, has resurfaced in the past two decades. Dragobete takes its name from a mythical young man — handsome and married — and symbolizes the time when birds nest and mate

Spring must come early in Romania.

In India, Hindu extremists have in the past vowed to attack couples who celebrate the day. And Kazakhstan’s Spiritual Board of Muslims posted a statement on its website this week criticizing the holiday as a “blind imitation of the West.”

Well, it could be worse. It could be rap music.

All this is not to say that St. Valentine does not have his passionate supporters.

In Kyrgyzstan, young advocates planned to stage a “love and friendship” action inside Bishkek’s Museum of History. Organizers say the event is intended to oppose Islamic statements against Valentine’s Day. On the square outside the museum, a separate rally dubbed “Kyrgyzstan, I Love You” will be held with a nod toward the holiday of love

Damn hippies.

Iraq, a Shi’a-majority country, seems to be following in the footsteps of other Muslim states, such as the United Arab Emirates, where the celebration of a holiday bearing the name of a martyred Christian saint is not only allowed but welcomed. It means big business.

Damn businessmen.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Happy St Zaxiriddin’s Day! (For You Uzbeks)”

  1. Anonymoose says:

    Hmmmm…….allowing a holiday in the name of business. Sometimes I thought what will or could turn the tide of Islam would be them essentially becoming secular and losing their religion. This actually seems to have happened in Central Asia among the old Soviet states like in Kyrgyzstan, but probably had a lot more to do with the decades long repression of religion than any change on their part.

    The assumption among a lot of people is that any culture including Muslims joins the melting pot in the US and while they may keep some cultural identity but in a generation or two they’re Americans playing football and listening to iPods. That of course isn’t happening and probably never has. I guess we can just hope that in the modern world more people will open their eyes and if not lose their faith at least lose their fervent intensity.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »